Police can be an agent of social change

THIS has reference to V. Eshwar Anand’s article “Policing the people: PM sets the agenda for reforms” (Sept 17). Sadly, excessive politicisation has diluted professionalism in the police and eroded its image. If Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is sincerely committed to rejuvenate the police administration and make it a vibrant agent of socio-economic change, he should implement the following measures.

Recruitment policies should be reviewed to induct talented and courageous men and women in the police. Senior police officers need to be trained on human resource management, effective decision-making and innovative methods and practices in tune with the changing times.

The police should interact — vertically and horizontally — more with IAS officers, judges, armed and paramilitary forces, politicians and citizens. There should be a system of reward and punishment to appreciate hard work and weed out the deadwood. Effective strategies are needed to tackle cyber crimes, bio-terrorism, communal riots, caste feuds and separatist movements.

Promotions, postings and transfers should be on the basis of one’s merit and performance and not on political sifarish. In fine, the police should cultivate a people-friendly image through good manners, high moral conduct and integrity.

Dr RAJ KUMAR SIWACH, Lecturer, Ch. Devi Lal University, Sirsa



The Indian police is incompetent, unfriendly, unprofessional and corrupt. I have lived in the US for over 20 years and when I see the police around me, l feel safe and respected. This is not the case in India. In the US, when there is an accident anywhere anytime, the police and ambulance reach the spot promptly and take care of the situation.

When I was trying to make a long distance call very recently, I inadvertently dialled 911 (Service number for calling Police, Fire Brigade or Ambulance in the US). Asked about the nature of the emergency, I told them that “I was ok” and apologised for my carelessness.

However, within five minutes, I heard a knock on my door. It was a well-dressed and well-equipped policeman, wanting to know if I needed any help. The lady at the “911 Service” with whom I spoke earlier despatched the police to be sure that I did not say “I was ok” under duress. In India, the police is a part of the problem and not a part of the solution and little is being done to improve the system.


Our forgotten martyr

THE Hindi film, Mangal Pandey, gave much reason to remember Mangal Pandey. The annals of Assam history tell us that Maniram Dewan of Assam was the first martyr of India’s Independence struggle. How many of us have heard his name?

Maniram Dutta Barua (1806-1858), popularly known as Maniram Dewan, was hanged at the Jorhat jail on February 16, 1858 for his revolt against British rulers. He fired up the imagination of the people of Assam who later sounded the death-knell of British imperialism.

Maniram Dewan should have been honoured along with Mangal Pandey. The Centre has forgotten Assam and her valiant sons and daughters who had sacrificed their lives for India.



Cyclone havoc

Cyclones have become a regular feature especially in the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh for the last many decades, causing huge loss to the farmers and other poor people living there. Hundreds of precious lives are also being lost very often. However, no effective long-term remedial measure has been implemented.

A full-fledged research and development laboratory may be immediately set up in this region for developing technologies and techniques to minimise the cyclonic damage to the crops and properties and reduce the loss of life.

Heavy flooding during cyclones could be avoided with minimal cost by preventing massive silting of lakes and canals due to large-scale illegal felling of trees and grossly inadequate afforestation programmes.

With the ever-increasing air pollution in India and abroad, the cyclones are expected to become more powerful and frequent.

R.P. RAMMOHAN, Hyderabad

Identical disasters

New Orleans and Mumbai have faced identical national disasters. Both were deluged with water so suddenly that there was no notice for the people to move to safe places. Compared with Mumbai’s 10 million people, New Orleans, a city with less than 5 lakh residents, is very rich and most developed. New Orleans was expected to have the most modern rescue systems while Mumbai lagged much behind in this field. But what happened?

Within the first 48 hours after Katrina, 100 people died in New Orleans; in Mumbai death toll in the first 48 hours was 37. At the end of the disaster, toll in New Orleans was 10,000; in Mumbai the loss of life was about 500. The people of Mumbai shared their food, water and clothes with the victims. There was no killing or violence. In New Orleans, people looted, killed and raped the hapless victims. In New Orleans, it took the authorities 48 hours to rush the Army to rescue the people. In Mumbai, the Indian Army and Navy swung into action within 12 hours. 

Though being a developing country, India has promptly despatched relief material to help the victims of New Orleans. India should be proud of itself.

K.S. BHALLA, New Delhi

Sino-Indian ties

Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee says that China has solved border disputes with 10 neighbours except India and Bhutan (Sept 5). What indeed could be the reason for this? Is it that China is patently unreasonable and intransigent towards these two countries, or is it vice versa?

The real reason for China being not too eager to sort out the border dispute with India could be its game plan to wear us out with prolonged negotiations to extract maximum concessions including territorial gains (apart from the huge tracts of land already illegally occupied by it). This, even as perceiving us as a week-kneed, indecisive and divided country where ruling classes, devoid of strategic vision and depth for long, have been acting in a selfish manner at the cost of vital national interests.

Wg-Cdr S.C. KAPOOR (retd), Noida

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